In what seems to be becoming a trend, the Star Wars franchise steamroller has lost another director. Colin Trevorrow has stepped down as director of Star Wars: Episode IX, the concluding chapter in the trilogy that began with The Force Awakens (2015) and continues with this year's The Last Jedi (due out in December).
Trevorrow had previously directed the surprise mega-hit Jurassic World (2015), which unexpectedly became the fourth-highest grossing movie of all time. For his accomplished use of visual effects, comedy and action, Trevorrow seemed a reasonable choice for the third new main-sequence Star Wars movie, but the choice was criticised since Jurassic World was not exactly the smartest movie ever made, and lacked a lot of heart. Trevorrow certainly didn't have the indie cred of Rian Johnson (who's directed The Last Jedi) or the proven track record of J.J. Abrams (who directed The Force Awakens).
Trevorrow stepping down isn't quite as disastrous as the situation with the Han Solo spin-off movie, which lost its directors halfway through filming, with Ron Howard stepping in to finish the movie off. However, Episode IX is already in pre-production, with shooting have been expected to start at the end of this year or the start of the next in order to hit its (already ambitious) May 2019 release date, so a new director will need to be found quickly.
One possibility is that J.J. Abrams might be willing to step in. He's produced several movies but has not got a directing gig lined up at present. Apparently he was interested in helming a fourth Star Trek movie, but Paramount seem to have put the franchise on hold whilst they debate what happened with the disappointing performance of Star Trek Beyond. Rian Johnson is also going to be wrapped up in post on The Last Jedi up until release day, so might not be willing to take on this project.
It'll be interesting to see who picks up the baton. Episode IX will conclude the trilogy that started with The Force Awakens and will resolve - if only for a time - the stories of Rey, Poe Dameron, Finn, Kylo Ren, the First Order and the Resistance (not to mention Luke Skywalker, Chewbacca and others). Taking on that story and making it would could be a tall order.